Antique 17th Century Islamic Mughal India Indo Persian Sword Indian Shamshir Damascus Steel
Rare antique 17th or early 18th century Islamic Mughal India Indo – Persian sword Indian shamshir.
The steel hilt of characteristic Indo Persian, Northern Indian shamshir form consists of several hand-forged elements, hand-chiseled on both sides in a low-relief with the classic hunting scene "shikargarh / shikargarh" depicting a lion hunting antelope very realistically.
On the pommel is carved the grotesque face of the Persian mythological demon "Div" (دیو) which spread to surrounding cultures, including India, central Asia, and other Islamic countries.
The end of the pommel is affixed with a movable brass clasp with fine chains attached. Another clasp with chains is attached to the crossguard finial.
It is the only such handle with a carved shikargar / shikargah hunting scene that I have seen in my over 50 years of experience in handling Islamic weapons and armor.
We searched reference books, museum catalogs, and the internet for the other shamshir hilt chiseled with a shikargarh scene; however, we found none in museums, private collections, or auction catalogs.
All of these hilts published in the references are made of plane metal, except for two with gold overlay decorations.
A Safavid period curved single-edged is sturdy and very sharp. Damascus steel blade with slightly visible fine Wootz pattern is adorned at the forte with a chiseled and gold inlaid cartouche containing the signature of the maker (ساخته حاجی حسین خراسانی ). "Amal Hadji Hossein Khorasani” (Work of Hadji Hossein Khorasani).
In the upper left the blade is adorned with chiseled, and gold inlaid talismanic magic square known as a “Bedouh” with 4 sections, each containing written in Naskh four auspicious letters: b,d,u,h.
1. Three Indian shamshirs with a comparable form of hilts, dated to the 17th century, are published in the book The Art of the Muslim Knights: The Furusyya Art Foundation Collection: by Mohamed Bashir. Page: 91,92,93.
2. Similar in form, the Mughal shamshir is in the collection of The Royal Collection of the British royal family. To view it, please see the link below.
The buyer will be provided with a copy of the pages from the mentioned references, together with a certificate of authenticity.
Swords in the Islamic cultures were worn as both weapons and status symbols. The man for whom this splendid sword was made must undoubtedly have been an important figure in Mughal Indian society since the swords of such high quality were very expensive at the time.
This is a stunning museum-quality Islamic Mughal sword, a real artwork, and an important example of Indian Mughal swordsmiths art.
Such Talwar quality can be seen only in the most important museums in the world and very rarely for sale.
PROVENANCE: Acquired from an old Canadian Collection of Islamic Art, including Muslim arms and armor.
CONDITION: Hilt and blade are slightly pitted, there has been some wear and scratches to the blade, and that may be why the pattern is not clearer or more precise, gold inlaid partly lost, however, in good condition considering that its age is approximately 300 years.
Overall length: 94 cm (37.1 inches)
The overall length of the blade: 82 cm (32.28 inches)
Width of the blade at the ricasso: 2.7 cm (1.06 inches)
The thickness of the blade spine: 5 mm (3/16 Inch)
Weight of the sword: 700 grams (1.543 lb.)